A Lesotho-born, South African wire art solo entrepreneur, Conty Fonane made headlines after he built a full-scale classic 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 entirely out of wire.
For someone else, this could be mission impossible, but Fonane it’s very possible and achievable. Conty Fonane is a South African who builds miniature cars for car dealers for his livelihood. His love for cars dated back to the time he was young when his father used to talk to him about cars almost every day.
When I first started making these cable cars, I thought I was just trying to sell them to make money so I could find myself in a car or car designer business. But it continued until it became a business. Every angle of this car was quite challenging. The car wanted to defend itself by telling me “Conty you can’t do me”. But I said to the car, “I’ll do you because I’m in love with you”. That’s how it worked… If the Ford company appreciated and exhibited this car in their museum, that’s what I particularly wanted,” he said.
His father would show him pictures of different and many cars, telling him about the engineering and how these cars were hand-built. Just as if his father knew the potential of his son, and had seen the future of little Fonane then. Because this action of his father coupled with his talent as a wire artist triggered his idea of making miniatures of wire cars. Conty Fonane spent seven months and spent 180,000 Rands ($10,852) at a Johannesburg showroom to complete the classic, full-size 1967 Mustang – nicknamed ‘Eleanor’ – almost completely out of commission.
For many years Conty has been creating miniature cars, but lately, the man did something unusual in his work as a car wire artist. Unlike his usual works, the car was built just like a real car and even has an engine, steering, seats, real rubber tires and other features similar to that of a real car. It has a wire V8 engine, pistons, gearbox, brakes, clutch, working hinges on the doors, seats you can sit in, and even a steering wheel that can spin, 24 wheels gave a vivid description of the work of art.
I remember my dad talking about cars almost every day. He would show me pictures, talk about engineering, and explain how cars were built by hand. It inspired me, he said.